First ultra-luxury BACCARAT Hotel could open in New York

Marie Coquine Chandelier By Baccarat

Already under construction and estimated to open in 2014, the 120 room hotel and condominium at 20 W. 53rd St., a prominent address in New York, is likely to be branded Baccarat, the famous French luxury house famous for its glassware, according to a report by the New York Post.

The 45-story hotel/condo tower being developed by Sternlicht and Tribeca Associates will be flagged with the 5-star name, according to a persuasive source — a city Department of Environmental Protection permit at the site that calls the project “Baccarat.” In the past few weeks, the Buildings Department also gave final approval to the tower at 20 W. 53rd St., across from MoMA, with some 120 hotel rooms on floors 4 to 12 and luxury condos above them.

Excavation is going full-bore at the former (and future) Donnell Library site, currently a gaping hole in one of Midtown’s most glamorous blocks. The New York Public Library will have 29,000 square feet on the new tower’s lower floors to replace its old branch. The NYPL planned to sell the property to Orient-Express Hotels, which in turn sold the purchase contract to Starwood Capital last year. The project is to open in 2014.

The developers have declined to identify the new hotel. But five weeks ago, we wrote the “smart money” was on Baccarat, a brand linked to the fabled crystal house and to which Starwood Capital’s SH Group holds the license.

Over the weekend, industry blogger Andrew Calvo wrote that the Baccarat name just popped up on Starwood Capital’s website next to a March 2011 press release about the then-unidentified project — so our call was “confirmed,” Calvo said. That seemed too easy, but we found the Baccarat name on a stroll past the site.

Sternlicht has tried to get the brand off the ground for years. Plans for Baccarat resorts in Hawaii, Atlanta and Anguilla were put on hold after the 2008 crash. Colliers PKF hotel analyst John Fox said yesterday West 53rd Street “is a prime 5-star location.” He said the Manhattan market can easily accommodate another luxury hotel when the classiest properties are commanding up to $1,000 a night per room.

The Baccarat tower is expected to cost around $400 million. Skidmore Owings & Merrill’s T.J. Gottesdiener is the architect of record, while Enrique Norten is reportedly the design architect.

adapted from the New York Post